Emiel de Lange

Emiel’s PhD investigates how the transfer of information influences the effectiveness of behaviour change strategies in conservation

Photo credit: Rours Vann

e-mail: e.delange@ed.ac.uk
twitter: @emiel_delange
website: https://sites.google.com/site/langeconservation/home

PhD project

Information transfer and the effectiveness of behaviour change strategies in conservation


I joined the University of Edinburgh as a PhD student in 2016. Like many conservationists I have a background in ecology, but my experience working on several conservation projects around the world has convinced me that the solutions to many of our biggest problems lie in the social sciences. Previously I studied at Imperial College London and wrote my thesis on how social impacts are measured in conservation. I’m also a music-lover and play the piano, and enjoy writing about the arts.


My PhD aims to improve the effectiveness of conservation interventions that use information to change the behaviour of people. I am using social network analyses and field experiments to understand the structure of communities in Cambodian protected areas and how information about conservation flows through these communities. Together with the Wildlife Conservation Society I will be using this understanding to experiment with different targeting strategies, and other so-called “network interventions”. Afterwards, we will be able to measure whether certain approaches are more effective.

More broadly I am interested in understanding how societies work, and how this knowledge can be harnessed to effect change.


de Lange, E., Woodhouse, E. and Milner-Gulland, E.J. (2016), Approaches Used to Evaluate the Social Impacts of Protected Areas. Conservation Letters, 9: 327–333. doi:10.1111/conl.12223

Woodhouse, E., de Lange, E. & Milner-Gulland, E. J. (2016) Evaluating the impacts of conservation interventions on human well-being: guidance for practitioners. London, UK, IIED

Grants & Awards

2016: Royal Geographical Society – Henrietta Hutton Research Grant

2016: Royal College of Science Union – Science Challenge (science communication competition)